Detention of US Citizens Hindering Engagement With Taliban, Says US State Department

Thursday, 02/29/2024

Matthew Miller, US State Department spokesperson, said that the detention of American citizens in Afghanistan has hindered Washington's "positive engagement" with the Taliban.

Miller said that US officials have emphasised on the immediate and unconditional release of their citizens in meetings with Taliban representatives.

He made these statements on Wednesday in response to the question by Marzia Hosseini, a reporter of Afghanistan International in Washington.

On Sunday, February 25, an 84-year-old Austrian citizen was freed from Taliban captivity through the mediation of Qatar. He had traveled to Afghanistan last year and had been detained by the Taliban on charges of espionage.

Miller commented on the situation of Ryan Corbett, a US citizen held captive by the Taliban since 2022, stating, "US officials have consistently and persistently advocated, including in meetings with Taliban representatives, for the immediate and unconditional release of Americans detained in Afghanistan."

Earlier, Morgan McGarvey, congressman, also demanded the immediate release of Ryan Corbett from Taliban detention.

Corbett, his wife, and three children lived in Kabul since 2010 and left Afghanistan in August 2021. Corbett's family said the Taliban arrested him on August 10, 2022, while on a business trip to Kabul, along with a German and two Afghan colleagues.

In the past, the Taliban has used detained US citizens to exchange with its imprisoned members.

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